Basic rules (West Virginia): Rulings on the admissibility of evidence are largely within a trial court's sound discretion and should not be disturbed unless there has been an abuse of discretion. State v. Franklin, 191 W. Va. 727, 448 S.E.2d 158 (1994); State v. Slaman, 189 W. Va. 297, 431 S.E.2d 91 (1993); State v. Perolis, 183 W.Va. 686, 398 S.E.2d 512 (1990).
Basic rules (Arkansas): "The general test for admissibility of expert testimony is whether the testimony will aid the trier of fact in understanding the evidence or in determining a fact issue. Johnson v. State, 292 Ark. 632, 732 S.W.2d 817 (1987); see also A.R.E. Rule 702. An important consideration in determining whether the testimony will aid the trier of fact is whether the situation is beyond the trier of fact's ability to understand and draw its own conclusion. Id. at 640, 732 S.W.2d at 821." Harris v. State of Arkansas,
(Sup.Ct.Ark., 1988), 295 Ark. 456; 748 S.W.2d 666; 1988 Ark. LEXIS 244
"This court has long recognized that the admissibility of expert testimony rests largely within the broad discretion of the trial court, and the appellant bears the burdensome task of demonstrating the trial court abused its discretion. Generally, the tendency is to permit the jury to hear the testimony of the person having superior knowledge in a given field unless clearly lacking in either training or experience, and too rigid a standard should be avoided. If some reasonable basis from which it can be said the witness has knowledge of the subject beyond that of persons of ordinary knowledge, his evidence is admissible." (citations omitted),
Mercantile Bank, n/k/a Union Planters Bank of Northeast Arkansas v. B & H Associated, Inc., Fred Boling and Clara Boling (Sup.Ct.Ark., 1997),
330 Ark. 315; 954 S.W.2d 226; 1997 Ark. LEXIS 595
"If scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will assist the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue, a witness qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education, may testify thereto in the form of an opinion or otherwise. Ark. Rule Evid. 702. We review a circuit court's qualification of a witness as an expert for an abuse of discretion. In 2000, this court adopted the seminal United States Supreme Court case interpreting Rule 702. Under Foote and Daubert, the circuit court must make a preliminary assessment of whether the reasoning or methodology underlying expert testimony is valid and whether the reasoning and methodology used by the expert has been properly applied to the facts in the case. Rule 702 guidelines apply equally to all types of expert testimony and not simply to scientific expert testimony. Kumho Tire Co., Ltd. v. Carmichael, 526 U.S. 137, 143 L. Ed. 2d 238, 119 S. Ct. 1167 (1999)." (some citations omitted).
Coca-Cola Bottling Co. v. Fred & Retta Gill, (Sup.Ct. Ark., 2003),
352 Ark. 240; 100 S.W.3d 715; 2003 Ark. LEXIS 138.
Federal Rules of Evidence:
Rule 702, Testimony by Experts
If scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will assist the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue, a witness qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education, may testify thereto in the form of an opinion or otherwise, if (1) the testimony is based upon sufficient facts or data, (2) the testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods, and (3) the witness has applied the principles and methods reliably to the facts of the case. [Notes]
Rule 703 . Bases of Opinion Testimony by Experts
The facts or data in the particular case upon which an expert bases an opinion or inference may be those perceived by or made known to the expert at or before the hearing. If of a type reasonably relied upon by experts in the particular field in forming opinions or inferences upon the subject, the facts or data need not be admissible in evidence in order for the opinion or inference to be admitted. Facts or data that are otherwise inadmissible shall not be disclosed to the jury by the proponent of the opinion or inference unless the court determines that their probative value in assisting the jury to evaluate the expert's opinion substantially outweighs their prejudicial effect. [Notes]
Rule 704 . Opinion on Ultimate Issue
(a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), testimony in the form of an opinion or inference otherwise admissible is not objectionable because it embraces an ultimate issue to be decided by the trier of fact.
(b) No expert witness testifying with respect to the mental state or condition of a defendant in a criminal case may state an opinion or inference as to whether the defendant did or did not have the mental state or condition constituting an element of the crime charged or of a defense thereto. Such ultimate issues are matters for the trier of fact alone. [Notes]
Rule 705 . Disclosure of Facts or Data Underlying Expert Opinion
The expert may testify in terms of opinion or inference and give reasons therefor without first testifying to the underlying facts or data, unless the court requires otherwise. The expert may in any event be required to disclose the underlying facts or data on cross-examination. [Notes]
The Supreme Court’s Trilogy on the
Admissibility of Expert Testimony
[Margaret A. Berger, Professor of Law, Brooklyn Law School][Prof. Berger was a member of the panel that issued the National Academy of Sciences report on forensic science and crime labs in February, 2009.][Federal Judicial Center, Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence (2nd ed., 2000)]
Management of Expert Evidence
[Judge William W Schwarzer & Joe S. Cecil][Federal Judicial Center, Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence (2nd ed., 2000)]
["The Daubert Tracker has amassed a collection of over 10,000 briefs and other supporting documents from both appellate and trial courts relating to 'gatekeeping' challenges to expert witness testimony. The documents are all in searchable PDF format and date back to 1993 and our collection of documents is agressively updated daily. We invite you to search the Brief Bank for FREE and to view the first 10% of the document for which you may have an interest in purchasing. If you find a document you'd like to purchase, the cost per document is $15.00 for non-subscribers and $7.50 for subscribers."]